There are many serious injuries that can happen at a construction site. One of these catastrophic mishaps is a crushing injury, which can happen in several situations. It is imperative that construction workers and their employers take the time to establish and follow appropriate safety guidelines to prevent crushing injuries.
Crushing injuries are serious for a few different reasons. They might lead to a condition known as compartment syndrome. Here are a few things to know about crush injuries:
Location of the injury
People mistakenly think that crush injuries are only serious if the person's midsection is compressed. This isn't the case. No matter where it occurs, a crush injury is serious because of the way that it impacts the structures in the affected area.
Care after the injury
One of the primary concerns when people face crush injuries is that they need to be freed of the entrapment as quickly as possible. Being entrapped is painful, but that isn't the only reason why freeing the victims is a priority.
The longer people are entrapped, the longer the impacted areas might not get suitable oxygen or blood flow. Both of those issues can lead to tissue death. When there is entrapment crushing individuals, they should be given high-flow oxygen as soon as possible.
In some cases, it is necessary to give a victim intravenous fluids using warm saline solution. This can be started before the person is freed if necessary and safe but must be started before there are signs of compartment syndrome.
While not all crushing injuries lead to compartment syndrome, this horrible condition is a reality for many people who are crushed. It occurs when there is increased pressure on the muscles, which can cause a reduction in blood flow, nerve damage and muscle damage.
Anyone who has suffered a crushing injury should beware of this condition. Some of the common symptoms include pale skin, severe pain that isn't relieved with medications, weakness in the area, tingling, decreased sensation, numbness, inability to move the area and swelling. These signs can occur within hours of the injury but they may take longer to appear.
A person who has compartment syndrome will likely need surgery. The road to recovery is usually lengthy. In severe cases, amputation of the impacted body part might be necessary.
It is possible that a crush injury can be career ending, life altering or fatal. Construction workers with this type of injury should look into their eligibility to file for workers' compensation benefits, which will be vitally needed after such a traumatic event at work.